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Should I Stay Or Should I Go? (Acts 20:17-38) (K)

As Paul says a tearful goodbye to the elders of the church in Ephesus we see two things about his ministry and calling. First, we see that wherever God placed Paul for however long He placed him there Paul was fully present and invested. His life, lived out daily, gave testimony to the message he proclaimed. The second thing we see is that Paul didn’t hesitate to go when God had a new assignment for him, even when that assignment was likely to lead to his suffering and even his death. For most of us it’s easy to become slaves of either the future or slaves to our comfort. We’re either too busy thinking about what God might have for us later that we don’t invest where He has placed us now or we get so comfortable with where we are now that we aren’t obedient to Him when He calls us someplace new. We need to be a people who are fully invested in the mission of God wherever He has placed us now and fully ready to obey the call of God wherever it may take us in the future.

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Good News for Everyone (Acts 10-11) (K)

These two chapters mark a pivotal moment in the history of the church. Here God makes it clear to Peter and through Peter to the rest of the church community that the gospel is not just good news for Jews, it is good news for gentiles as well. In fact what we see throughout the pages of the New Testament is that when it comes to the gospel barriers and partitions that divide and exclude are broken down and destroyed. As Paul says in his latter to the church in Galatia: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” This means all our old prejudices need to be put to death and all our previous identities are made secondary because of the supernatural unity we are given through Jesus.

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Saul: Persecutor to Proselytizer (K)

If you were a member of the early Christian community the last person in the world you would have expected to become a key individual in God’s plan to grow and expand His church would have been Saul of Tarsus. In Acts 8:3 Luke describes Saul as “ravaging the church” going from house to house dragging off men and women who were Christians and sending them to prison, yet by the time we come to Acts 9:20 that same Saul is “proclaiming Jesus in the synagogues saying, “He is the Son of God.” The story of Saul is a reminder that God works in unexpected ways through unexpected people and is proof that no matter their past, no one is beyond the transforming power of God’s grace.

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A Multiplying Mission Requires Multiplying Leaders (Acts 6) (K)

As the church grew it’s systems and structures needed to grow as well to make sure that the mission of the church could continue to move forward. This meant the identifying and installation of new leaders. These leaders were chosen first and foremost based on their character and faith, but also based on the changing needs and nature of the growing community. If we are going to be a multiplying church we also need to be a church that multiplies leaders.

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Can I Get A Witness (Acts 1:1-11) (K)

In the book of Acts, Luke continues his writing to Theophilus, moving from an account of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus to an account of the birth of the church and its growth from a group of 120 Jewish followers of Jesus in Jerusalem to a multi-racial movement that spread across the entire Roman world. A movement rooted in a mission given by Jesus to His followers just before He ascended to heaven: “you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” The mission Jesus gave to His original disciples remains the mission of the church until Christ returns.

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We are Prevailing (Matthew 16:18-19)

There is a common belief in the western world, not only outside the church but often inside the church, that the church is in retreat, that Christianity is fading and perhaps that the world is even better off without it. Jesus promises is that the church prevails. The picture is not of the church hunkering down and hiding behind gates, but of a church on the offensive against Hell itself. Across history and across the globe today, where God’s people are faithful to the mission they have been given and are walking in the power of the Holy Spirit, lives have and are being changed, demonic strong holds have and are being broken down and the church has, is and will prevail not because of us but because Jesus is building His church and He has already won the war.